Illinois Abortion|Law Challenged

     CHICAGO (CN) – The only provider of abortion services in Southern Illinois wants the state enjoined from enforcing a law that will require minors to get parental or grandparental consent for the procedure and to wait 48 hours or more after requesting it. The Hope Clinic for Women says enforcement of the law, set for Nov. 3, will threaten young women’s health and safety and will lead to some being “beaten or thrown out of their homes.”

     The clinic, in Granite City, sued the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and The Illinois State Medical Disciplinary Board in Cook County Chancery Court.
     It challenges enforcement of the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. Enforcement of the Act was enjoined “because the Illinois Supreme Court had not issued rules necessary to comply with federal constitutional requirements,” according to the complaint. The Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 20, 2006 adopted as its Rule 303A the “Expedited and Confidential Proceeding Under the Parental Notification of Abortion Act.”
     But the Chicago Federal Court in February 2008 refused to dissolve the permanent injunction, “first because the Attorney General admitted that the Illinois courts were not prepared to apply the new procedures, and later, because the court concluded that a facial defect rendered the Act unconstitutional as written under Federal law.”
     The 7th Circuit reversed that ruling this year and dissolved the permanent injunction. (Zbaraz v. Madigan, 572 F.3d 370).
     The clinic says 15,000 Illinois teens became pregnant in 2000, out of a population of more than 250,000, and about one-third of the 15,000 terminated their pregnancies. Those women will be endangered if forced to seek illegal abortions, which would be one effective result of enforcement of the Act, the clinic says. It claims the Act is still unconstitutional, violating gender equality, due process, equal protection, and privacy rights, and its enforcement should be enjoined.
     The clinic and a doctor are represented by the ACLU and Sidley Austin.

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